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AUS welcomes graduate students from around the world for Fall 2020 semester
Graduate students from around the world logged in to attend the special Graduate Orientation session held recently by American University of Sharjah (AUS) to welcome 120 new students to its master’s and PhD programs. The incoming students come from a wide array of professional, educational and cultural backgrounds.
“We have seen an increased interest in graduate education at AUS from highly qualified applicants from within the UAE and internationally,” said Dr. Mohamed El-Tarhuni, Vice Provost for Graduate Studies at AUS.
“AUS continues to offer high-quality graduate programs to support the market needs and promote research and creative work activities. This year the university offered three new graduate programs, namely the Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Construction Management, and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering to add to its portfolio of multidisciplinary programs. We also continue to provide competitive graduate assistantships to qualified candidates to provide financial support, teaching and research experiences for the students,” he said.
Jennifer Vann, who is currently based in the United States, has joined the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at AUS and is looking forward to coming to Sharjah when on-campus classes resume.
“I chose to pursue this program after discovering a hidden passion for language teaching. After starting work at the University of Florida English Language Institute, my life changed because of the many Saudi students at the institute who inspired me to study Arabic. Due to them, I became passionate about learning about Gulf cultures, the different dialects, the various landscapes and so I began searching for an M.A. TESOL program in the Gulf. I found an amazing blog post on the AUS website, which really resonated with me and made me want to study at AUS,” she said.
Vann, who started her university studies as a Japanese major at the University of Florida, graduated with bachelor’s degree in anthropology with a minor in linguistics. She subsequently worked in diverse fields including marketing, sales, customer services, wildlife ecology and conservation, biology, environmental health, education, financial services, and currently works at the University of Florida English Language Institute.
Speaking about her experience at the graduate orientation session, she said: “Orientation was definitely helpful in making me feel connected to my new community, learn how to use the various educational applications and programs, get a sense of the AUS culture, and to know what to expect this semester. Before starting classes, I had already met with my professor and with admissions’ personnel. So far, my impression is that AUS is full of kind and helpful people!” she said.
With 16 sought-after master’s and two doctoral programs on offer, AUS has earned an enviable reputation in the region for the quality of its faculty and its graduates. This semester the university is also welcoming some of its alumni who are coming back to pursue their graduate studies. Kunaal Nanik, who graduated with a bachelor’s in finance and economics in 2007, has returned to AUS to pursue a master’s degree in finance following a career in tourism, travel, and hospitality.
“I have always had a keen interest in finance. I wanted to pursue a master’s in the subject but wasn’t able to do so earlier. With AUS launching a master’s in finance this year, I finally had the opportunity to fulfill a long-held ambition. AUS is my preferred institution as I had experienced its quality education first-hand during my undergraduate years,” he said.
Najla Mohammad, an alumna who obtained both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at AUS, is joining the university’s new multidisciplinary PhD program in materials science and engineering.
She said: “During my graduate studies at AUS, I gained a lot at three levels—the advanced education that I acquired through courses and projects; the teaching skills that I developed during my teaching assistantship; and the research skills I gained during my thesis work. I was delighted when I heard that AUS had launched a PhD program in materials science and engineering. The broad spectrum of topics in the program attracted me to further explore what this field has to offer. Research is at the top of my priorities, especially with AUS having the requisite infrastructure and technology to support it.”
During the orientation, the new graduate students were welcomed by Professor Kevin Mitchell, Chancellor of AUS, and several key university officials. They also received a warm welcome from the President of the AUS Graduate Student Association, Syed Shah Qudairi. The Graduate Student Association organized week-long events and activities to ensure that students feel welcome and quickly become part of the AUS community.